Wiley's heatwave music video

Wiley’s Heat Wave music video

Check out this interesting and without a doubt some will say “controversial” article about black women and our place within British mainstream culture, via the The Diaspora Diva blog.

“No other group in America has so had their identity socialized out of existence as have black women…. When black people are talked about the focus tends to be on black men; and when women are talked about the focus tends to be on white women”.
(hooks, bell:1981).

Here in the UK, the  visibility of black women in representations of mainstream Black British culture is such that you might be forgiven for thinking we are an endangered species. The near erasure of Black British women from this terrain, which is in the main dominated by black men and white women, is rarely commented upon, despite its prominence.  What is actually going on here? Is this some manifestation of the quite frankly ridiculous Eldrige Cleaver quote above. Or is it something else?

The (ahem) ‘urban’ (we know what they really mean) landscape that provides the basis of so much of Britain’s somewhat depressing representations of mainstream youth culture, borrows heavily from black culture, yet sometimes seems entirely devoid of black women. The characters who populate this world are black men and white women. Access may be permitted to the occasional mixed-race girl but beyond such tokenism, this is the white woman’s world!

From movies such as Kidulthood[1], to the presenters of the Kiss FM Takeaway show [Rickie, Melvin and Charlie], who typify this phenomenon, the symbols of ‘Urban’ or Black British youth culture are routinely Black men and their white female partners.



Mad News readers your thoughts please. Is she wrong?

15 replies »

  1. aaaah – there’s so much to talk about here including the increasingly important question: what does it mean to be Black in the UK?

    I find it intriguing that she talks about ‘tokenism’ of inclusion of dual heritage females and features ‘Heatwave’ as an example in stills yet Wiley says ‘I wanna see a light skinned gal on the road’… and the author is of dual heritage herself

  2. some good point raised. what you see in the UK is the rush to be american, if americas featured more black women the brits would find it trendy and follow suit

  3. Although I do not like this type of article which always portrayed Black women as unwanted and not desired by everyone which is far for from it, the article does raise some good points. but I think since early 2000 Black women or actually dark skinned ones have been out of the picture. if you look at the 90s/early 2000 era there were Black women featured as a love interest and not as a dancer in Black male videos (though I do speak in the American context) but I do as well remember seeing black women at that time in the UK too , there were also quiet few well known darker singer /actress etc.. everything changed when Beyonce and Jlo hit the scene ( I know JLo is not black but I am only talking about look). I am French but I remember back in the days I was able to name several Black female British singers etc.. Although I do believe there is a shady marketing from music companies when it comes to casting girls in videos and media promoting only a certain type of women but Black men are to blame for this so called erasure of Black women, they worship non-Black women and do not up lift their own.

  4. The problem here is what are black men to look upon and call “their own” in 2013? Black women used to look distinctive and set apart from other nationalities of women. Today however for the most part all I see are a group of Negropeans and Euroblacks walking around. By the majority of black women going out of their way to look like European women and not retaining their uniqueness, they have automatically opened the door to be replaced by those whom they are attempting to emulate. Why go for the copy when you can obtain the original?

    Dark skinned black women however have not lost their spotlight in the media, they are now potrayed in films and on television as the belligerent, violent, rebellious, loudmouth women whom everybody is afraid of and wants to keeps a good distance from and black women continue to confirm these negative behaviours by posting these same sub standard actions on youtube, WorldStarHiphop, Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets.

    Could this be a possibility as to why darker skinned black women are overlooked in the media when it comes down to wanting to portray a friendly atmosphere of people?

  5. I don’t think they think we are marketable enough to pull in audiences and revenue.

    The problem is that it teaches everyone coming after thinks the same and continues the trend.

  6. hahahahha @verbs so by following your logic fake kardashian and others wouldn’t be so popular with Black men since they have “the real deal” in their community.

    @lati Laura Mvula can have videos with dark skinned Black folks and she’s pretty popular.

  7. @ verbs. I know that you hate black women. I done seen your blog. It was the most hateful thing that I have seen. You even encouraged men to check other races. You offered (with your superior intellect) absolutely no solutions that involve healing. You didn’t even state, in order to give your posting any leverage, the fact that Black women have shown a disproportionate amount of race loyalty to Black men, despite our brothers not being able to protect us for five hundred years. You did not state that a disproportionate amount of black men are really in competition with white men and white patriarchy and will use any excuse (and body) to reach as far as him and use any woman to get there. I assure you that if these weak brothers (I am not talking about GENUINE Black men/other race love matches) thought that having a black woman of any hue would be progressive to their money making, they would be with a black woman. You did not state that Black men who treat Black women badly then go to ( usually ) white women, whilst blaming the sistas for all their woes, do not treat their white women any better. You also talked NOTHING about mental health within the black community, in or out of Africa. At a guess. I’d say a more than a majority of us are suffering crisis of identity (pertaining to race, sexuality, sexual orientation, body image, religion, finance and materialism). So whilst you dog out black Western women, please show me anywhere on this planet where we are doing well (including Africa) and are not suffering from a uber patriarchal foot on our neck or are not imitating white women in appearance and material lifestyle.
    I just hope that your racist rantings (apart from the “man” nobody hates black women as much as black men who hold your kind of opinions on us) are not the result of some “homegirl” with a weave and too tight clothing, telling you your fortune when you tried to check her for some “real lovin” that you feel you couldn’t get from the women of “superior” races. I know your kind, and trust me. Even homegirls with not a GCSE to their name can see hypocrites like you coming a mile off.

  8. ‘@lati Laura Mvula can have videos with dark skinned Black folks and she’s pretty popular’

    So is Janelle Monae, so was Lauryn Hill and many others that came before them.

  9. @Sparkle

    Get it right Sparkle, I have a problem with ratchet, out of control, dysfunctional, reprobate, violent black females and black women who equally defend them and their antisocial behavior, now if you have decided that you fit that profile then that is your business. I have never stated once on my blog that I have a problem with decent black women.

    The “offer a solution” line is simply a distraction. What you are really saying is either “I fit the demographic of the dysfunctional weave wearing, reprobate black women that you talk about” or ” I have friends or possibly family members that fit this demographic, I condone their dysfunctional behaviour and you are making me feel uncomfortable for doing either or both by talking about this issue”. You really just want me to stop talking about the problem, you are not looking for a solution at all as the solutions are encased all around the problem and are evident for all to see, know and execute.

    You are simply rehashing the same illogical arguments once again. I already informed you that from the end of slavery up until the 1960s, the black family structure was over 80% functional. 85% of children born up until the 60s were born into a 2 parent home, so the excuse of slavery cannot be used here. It was the black woman’s departure into the white feminist movement aswell as her kicking the black male out of the home in exchange for funding from the state(welfare) from 1964 that fragmented the black family unit. You are trying to go back 500 years when the problem of our woes is recent.

    You talked about the dysfunctionality of black men however, it is single black women who have been raising these reprobate black men for the last 50 years by themselves. You only have yourselves to blame for the way that most of these men have turned out today, weak, emotional and effeminate. If the football team is performing poorly at some point we have to look at the general manager who is training them.

    The fact of the matter is that in 2013 black men in increasing numbers are now walking away from black women, the main reason being because they do not want the “drama” that comes as a standard package with a large majority of western black women. Its funny though because typically when a black woman dates a white man, she drops the attitude and the drama queen antics almost immediately, she knows that she cannot bring that to his table, yet she feels comfortable railing all manner of abuse at her brothers when engaged in relations with them.

    I fully understand that the majority of western black women are suffering from mental health problems, the indications are all around us. Walking around with the DNA of a completely different nationality of woman on your head would definitely fit into a mental health issue niche. I understand the cooning and buck dancing that many black women love to perform for the European man(especially within an office environment which is representative of Masser’s house) is also part of an unstable mind.

    Doing well in a typical western black woman’s mind is nearly always erroneously linked to materialism and finances, something that has been instilled in women in general from the feminist movement. Doing well in real terms for any woman should be about knowing her true place as a woman in a relationship/marriage, establishing her home, raising her children successfully, supporting her man in whatever venture of positive value he decides to embark on instead of fighting him on every front like a belligerent, rebellious scoundrel. That is what marks the success and glorification of a real woman. Based upon this true standard there are tribes all over Africa where women are successful aswell as other places in the world where black women and women in general have not adhered to the western philosophy construct.

    The modern day western black woman in general has never been held accountable for the acts of treachery in the 60s that she executed against not only against black men but against the black community as a whole. However, not all black women are like yourself and seek to dodge accountability for their actions, many black women are beginning to recognise that they have been taken for a serious joyride by the ideologies of “white” feminism and have now begun to decontaminate themselves from the filth and corruption associated with the movement.

    So, I DO NOT stand against “all black women”, I stand against the rebellious scoundrels who are making it difficult for everybody else in the black community to move forward. You do not form an alliance with reprobates, you are supposed to separate yourselves from them and call them out on their rebellious behaviour.


    You missed the point, regardless of what white women do to themselves, they are not trying to look like you, they can still be identified as white. Please show me a white woman who is walking around with an afro wig/weave on her head. By the way, the largest consumers of butt implants today are actually black women, which seems strange at first until you factor in the mental health issues black women are having today.

    In 2013 the black women is the last choice for a mate. The marriage rate for black women is 24%, the lowest of all nationalities of women and that figure is rapidly dwindling. Are you stating that black women cannot be held accountable at any stage for these figures?

  10. wow :

    Pft. Ain’t no body got time for all that.


    Ain’t nobody got time to read through the rantings of a mad man who probably get’s no action.

  11. I don’t usually leave comments but felt the need to today. Verbs what is your problem? You have just written a chapter on black women accusing them of all sorts, wearing weaves and so on. Why are you so pressed over what black women choose to do with their lives and hair? Are you paying their bills, mortgages, putting food on their tables?Then you go on about what modern day western black woman in general have supposedly done and how they have never been held accountable for the acts of treachery in the 60s that she executed against not only against black men but against the black community as a whole. What are you talking about you? When I go back and read your chapters all I see is a disgruntled black man who has been turned down on countless occasions by the types of women you claim to hate and has mother issues.
    I don’t think that any woman whether she be white, black, blue or green could stand to be around a hateful and disturbed individual like yourself.

  12. Provide the decadent scandalous hoodrats with some bait and rope and they will always come out of the woodwork and hang themselves. Nuff said.

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October 2013
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